A Conditional God


…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14



Many Christians have adopted a belief that God is an unconditional God. We promise people who do not know or love God that He loves them, no matter what. Many Christians boldly promise the favor of God on someone if they would “stop doing drugs,” “confess their sin of adultery or having had an abortion,” “stop using pornography,” or ___________________, you fill in the blank.

As some women were discussing God’s Law today it occurred to me that we make a lot of Biblical promises that lack the “conditions” that God has placed on us. There are a lot of “ifs” in the Bible (1507  in the ESV).  Here are two examples:

And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish (Deuteronomy 8:19).

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love (John 15:10).

There is a standard of faith and actions that we have to adhere to in order to be the recipients of the blessings of the Lord. He does not look down and see a good thing we have done and pour out His blessings. His definition of “good” and ours are often miles apart.

A woman at a conference where I was speaking once said that when she was growing up her Christian family taught her that if she did not  drink, smoke or get pregnant out of wedlock – she was being a “good Christian girl.”

The Bible was in their home, but not taught. They attended church and youth group and stayed out of trouble, prioritizing academics.

This kind of Christian home has gotten into a second or possibly third generation who do not know the scriptures – so they think that all God wants is for us to be happy and blessed materially so we can praise His Name.

In the Bible, the “ifs” are not just personal. The conditions God has for us are also national. Our nation is expected (as Israel was) to humble itself and pray, to turn from our wicked ways, and then God will hear from heaven and heal our land.

A lot needs to change, in our personal obedience to God’s Word and in our national recognition of His Authority in the world.

The personal has to come first. God will change our nation one person at a time. It would seem that we have to start telling people the truth, including politicians and businessmen. They will not be blessed for stopping one bad behavior. They will be blessed by God when they live by faith in Him and His Word, and by their repentance and obedience to it.

He is a conditional God. Do you and I have adequate knowledge of the conditions, and enough love for our neighbors to tell them?

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